Earlier this week, both sides of Congress passed legislation with the intent of protecting mid-sized businesses from being subject to the community rate reforms and other mandates included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Bill is now awaiting the President’s signature.
PPACA included a mandate that expanded the definition of small group to include businesses with 51-99 employees, where most states defined them as 2-50. Although most of the mandates were implemented January 1st of 2014, PPACA allowed States to continue operating under their old definition until January 1, 2016. At this time, all employers with 2-99 employees were to be considered small group employers, and thus their benefit plans subject to the massive rate reforms. It was anticipated that this mandate was going to cause many employer to rethink the offering of benefit plans to their employees in direct response to significant rate increases.
For now, we wait. Once the Bill is signed, it will be handed down to the States to decide whether they implement the mandates set forth in Healthcare Reform, or continue business as usual – and with very little time to do so with the end of 2015 coming to a fast close.